The Essence of Effective Leadership

“The success or lack thereof of an organisation and by extension the business sector and country alike, depends on the level and type of leadership implemented in these institutions.” This was the view posited by CEO of the SBA, Sen. Dr. Lynette Holder and the focus of the association’s April webinar entitled ‘The Impact of Leadership on the Organisation.’

 leadership

Expounding on this perspective, Head of the Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus and presenter, Professor Dr. Justin Robinson, asserted that the main tools at a leader’s disposal which have the greatest impact on an organisation’s success are the operational strategy and organisational culture which are formulated, shaped and enforced.

He stated that strategy provides clarity and focus for collective action and decision making, relying on plans and sets of choices to mobilise people which can often be enforced by both concrete rewards for achieving goals and consequences for failing to do so. On the other hand, he posited that culture expresses these goals through values and beliefs and guides activities through shared assumptions and group norms.

aprilwebinarPresenter, Prof. Justin Robinson providing insight on the Impact of Leadership to attendees via Zoom

Dr. Robinson further contended that the more important of these tools would be organisational culture because it has implications on the effectiveness of the operational strategy and will outlive the tenure of the leader. As a result, Professor Robinson stated that although most leaders readily recognise the critical role of strategic planning for success, there must be an even greater focus on the values, norms, attitudes and behaviours being shaped within the organisation for it to truly excel. He posited that when culture is properly aligned with strategy it can lead to tremendous motivation and group effort towards reaching a shared purpose or goal and will foster and strengthen an organisation’s capacity to thrive. However, Dr. Robinson stressed that “leaders who don’t understand their current organisational culture and how it fits with their strategic direction are doomed to failure as culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

The department head stated that there were two broad dimensions to a firm’s culture which should be evaluated, those being whether interactions within the company are highly independent or interdependent and the company’s response to change. When analysing the latter, he stated that persons should seek to assess whether emphasis is being placed on stability, predictability and consistency or if the company allows for flexibility, adaptability and receptiveness to change.

Dr. Robinson also outlined eight cultural styles and their pros and cons including Purpose, Caring, Order, Safety, Authority, Results, Enjoyment and Learning, with the Caring and Results styles being statistically proven to be the most commonly used.

With this information, attendees were advised to evaluate the culture of their businesses and make the necessary changes to realign this culture with their strategic approach.

To watch the full video and to learn more about the culture alignment framework, visit the SBA’s website at www.sba.bb